New MVA Course: Hybrid IT Management Part II – Cloud-Enabled Protection

You may recall a couple of months back, we announced the availability of the first in a series of Microsoft Virtual Academy courses designed to bring you up to speed with Hybrid IT Management. If you’ve forgotten what we mean when we say ‘Hybrid IT Management’, it’s the management, automation and protection of heterogeneous infrastructure, workloads, apps and services, on both Windows and Linux, across any cloud, regardless of whether it’s running in your datacenter, with a service provider, in the public cloud, on platforms such as Azure, or a combination of all of those. Now if that’s not a short definition, I don’t know what is.

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New MVA Course: Hybrid IT Management Part I – Insights, Visibility & Security Analytics

“And the award for the longest blog post title goes to….”

A month or so back, I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours in the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) studios with Laura Cruz, Program Manager on the System Center and Services team, to work on part 1 of a multi-part series of MVA courses all focused on Hybrid IT Management. “What is Hybrid IT Management?” I hear you ask. Well, at a high level, it’s the management, automation and protection of heterogeneous infrastructure, workloads, apps and services, on both Windows and Linux, across any cloud, regardless of whether it’s running in your datacenter, with a service provider, in the public cloud, on platforms such as Azure, or a combination of all of those.

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Q&A from the Windows Server 2016 Preview JumpStart – Part III – Upgrades & Operational Efficiencies

Here we are in part three of the Q&A series, where I’m working through the multitude of questions that were asked during the recent ‘What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Preview’ JumpStart course, which, if you haven’t heard, is now available on-demand, so check it out! In this post, I’ll be walking through the questions focused around upgrading to Windows Server 2016, specifically using the new rolling upgrade capabilities, then wrapping up with some questions under the banner of ‘Operational Efficiencies’, which, between you and I, are a load of cool and handy features that just make life better for the Hyper-V admin.  Here we go…

Rolling Upgrades

Can you upgrade from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2016 or only from Windows Server 2012 R2?

No, as detailed on TechNet, this feature only works for clusters transitioning from Windows Server 2012 R2, to Windows Server 2016. Any earlier editions of Windows Server would have to be upgraded to Windows Server 2012 R2, before you could take advantage of the rolling upgrade.  There are no plans to port this feature back to previous versions of Windows Server.

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Q&A from the Windows Server 2016 Preview JumpStart – Part II – Clustering & Availability

Here we are in part two of the Q&A series, where I’m working through the multitude of questions that were asked during the recent ‘What’s new in Windows Server 2016 Preview’ JumpStart course, which, if you haven’t heard, is now available on-demand, so check it out! In this post, I’ll be walking through the questions focused around Failover Clustering and High Availability.  There was lots of interest in this topic, especially around the new Compute and Storage resiliency, along with enhancements to Shared VHDX.  On to the questions…

Failover Clustering

Will Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V support Fault Tolerance?

No, Fault Tolerance, a feature within certain editions of VMware vSphere, is not a feature within Windows Server 2016. Taking information from the VMware vSphere Availability Guide, whilst attractive on paper, protection of VMs is still limited to only 4 vCPU, and whilst this is enough for many workloads, Fault Tolerance cannot protect against application failures within the VM, cannot reduce downtime for patching-related outages within the guest operating system, and, the feature itself has resource requirements that can create additional overhead. Read that as ‘takes a performance hit’. You also lose flexibility, as the use of Memory Overcommit, and Hot-Add of disks is disabled.

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Q&A from the Windows Server 2016 Preview JumpStart – Part I – Virtualization Security

As mentioned in my previous post, back on August 18th and 19th, myself and Corey Hynes delivered a 2-day, live, Windows Server 2016 Preview Jumpstart. For the thousands of you that attended, thank you, it was a lot of fun, and I hope you learned a lot! There are certainly a lot of new features and capabilities coming in the next release of Windows Server! Some of them are incremental improvements, however there are many areas that are completely new to the Microsoft platform, such as Containers and Nano Server. Naturally, there were a large number of questions during the event, in fact, the number was so large, the team couldn’t answer them all in time, so, over the next few blog posts, I’ll be trying my best to answer your questions that were raised during the event.

In this first Q&A post, I’m going to focus on the large number of Security questions that were posed as part of the virtualization module.  The security capabilities that have been introduced in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V, are incredibly powerful, but they are also a little complex.  I’d first urge you to watch the on-demand course, to help familiarize yourself with the concepts. If you’re short on time, skip along to the second module, Server Virtualization, around the 8:55 mark, as that’s where we start the security discussion.

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Windows Server 2016 Preview JumpStart Now Available On-Demand!

Back on August 18th and 19th, myself and Corey Hynes delivered a 2-day, live, Windows Server 2016 Preview Jumpstart. For the thousands of you that attended, thank you, it was a lot of fun, and I hope you learned a lot! There are certainly a lot of new features and capabilities coming in the next release of Windows Server! Some of them are incremental improvements, however there are many areas that are completely new to the Microsoft platform, such as Containers and Nano Server.

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Join me on the Windows Server 2016 Preview JumpStart!

Hungry for Hyper-V?  Super-excited about Storage? Need to know Networking, or perhaps Nano? Curious about Containers? Amazed by Automation? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then the Windows Server 2016 Preview JumpStart is going to be right up your street. Even if you didn’t answer yes to any of those questions, I’m going to assume you did, as thinking of those statements is 10 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. And I apologize for using Super-excited. It just slipped out.

Anyway….I’ve been crafting the content for the upcoming JumpStart for the last week or so, and myself, along with my fellow speaker, the man, the legend, Mr Corey Hynes, are now in the process of finalizing the demos, (of which we have well over 20, across the 2-day course) to help bring to life, some of the incredible investments that we’re making in the next release of Windows Server. In order to register, you need to head on over to the Microsoft Virtual Academy page, where you’ll find a picture of my face (apologies) and more importantly, a nice big ‘Register Now’ button. You really can’t miss it.

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New MVA Course: Azure Pack – Database as a Service (DBaaS)

Are you an IT professional providing infrastructure and IT resources for developers, application owners and database administrators? Are you tired of receiving emails, calls, texts, WhatsApp’s or even Snapchat’s, asking you for a new database, which you have to then create manually? If you answered yes to either of those, then a new, free Microsoft Virtual Academy course could be right up your street.

For those not familiar, DBaaS, or Database as a Service to give its full name, is a mechanism through which IT can provide key stakeholders with access to backend database technologies, such as SQL Server, through self-service, requiring no further interaction by, or with IT. For some enterprises and service providers, responding to requests for IT stuff like databases, consumes a lot of time, thus automating these processes, and providing access via self-service really can be a game changer. Not only can it save time, but it can significantly increase consistency, aid with standardization and provide increased confidence in the IT services you provide.  Just sayin’.

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New MVA Course – Operational Insights within the Operations Management Suite

A few short days ago, at the first annual mega-conference that is Microsoft Ignite, there were a number of high-profile announcements. One of the announcements that took many people by surprise was around MOMS. Now, I don’t mean your Mom, my Mom (well, Mum where I’m from) or anyone else’s Mom – I mean the Microsoft Operations Management Suite. For those of you who haven’t kept up on the news, MOMS is a combination of technologies that enables you to gain greater levels of insight and control of your IT environment, whether it exists on-premises, in the cloud, or across both. This also applies across Windows Server, Linux, VMware, OpenStack, and across Azure and AWS. Pretty flexible, I’d say.

But, what does it do?

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